Can Israel Make the Electric Car Succeed?

Renault is confident enough that the average Israeli will buy electric cars that it expects to sell 10,000 to 20,000 electric cars per year starting in 2011.

Published: 27-Jan-2008

When a country can't buy oil from most of the Middle East, there are a few smart things to do: reduce consumption, buy from somewhere else, or, introduce the most revolutionary electric car infrastructure ever. For Israel, it's doing all three.

Nissan, Renault, and Merrill Lynch are all banking on the idea that consumers want to travel cheaply, and do it green. Which is why, they, among others, are financing a project to successfully introduce the mass use of electric cars in Israel. Why Israel? Well, it's small, gas is expensive (think Europe but without the high GDP), gas is hard to get, and the government is willing to give out massive tax breaks to see if the technology will pan out.

Announced on Monday, the plans for electric car infrastructure include the construction of 500,000 quick recharge points throughout Israel and tax breaks for electric vehicle buyers. With the tax breaks, electric cars in Israel will be less expensive to purchase than gasoline engine cars. And with 500,000 places to either recharge while you go get dinner, or just have the exhausted battery taken out and replaced with a juiced up one, a lot of consumers will probably be opening their checkbooks to take home an electric car.

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